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Updated Playoff Picture For Giants


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The Chicago Bears beat the Minnesota Vikings tonight, which you wouldn't think mattered much to the Giants. Except that it did. It eliminated one possible scenario from the dwindling number of scenarios in which they can make the playoffs.


Of course, they are still alive and still looking at a "win and in" situation on Sunday. If they lose in Green Bay on Sunday, though, things get a little more complicated. They'll have to beat the Redskins on Jan. 2 and they'll need help.


Neither the NFL nor the Giants have confirmed any postseason scenarios yet, but using my superior mathematical abilities I've discovered three ways the Giants (9-5) can make the playoffs. As far as I can tell, these are the only three. But I reserve the right to change my mind (especially after the NFL updates the playoff picture).


It appears that the Giants will earn a playoff berth if ...



* The Giants beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday




* The Giants lose to Green Bay Packers on Sunday and then beat the Washington Redskins in Week 17 AND the Chicago Bears beat the Packers in Week 17.




* The Giants lose to Green Bay on Sunday and then beat the Washington Redskins in Week 17 AND the Tampa Bay Bucaneers win their final two games (vs. Seattle, at New Orleans) AND the New Orleans Saints lose their final two games (at Atlanta, vs. Tampa Bay)


In the first scenario, obviously, the Giants would have a one-game lead over Green Bay with one to play and own the tie-breaker. That locks up the spot because they've already clinched the tie-breaker over Tampa Bay (by virtue of "strength of victory").


In the second scenario, the Packers would end up one game behind the Giants in the standings. Again, the Bucs wouldn't be a factor even if they went 2-0.


In the third and most complicated scenario, the Giants, Saints and Bucs would all finish tied at 10-6. By NFL rules, division tie-breakers are broken first and apparently the Bucs would have the tie-breaker over the Saints. That would eliminate the Saints and the Giants would get in by virtue of their tie-breaker over the Bucs. Incidentally, this scenario also works if the Packers finish 10-6 and it's a four-way tie for two spots. I'm pretty sure the Packers and Giants get in if that happens.


Again, these scenarios have not been confirmed by the Giants and the NFL, so they are absolutely subject to change.




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